Thursday, 27 October 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

Somewhere I read that this apparently is Britains "best loved book"...I had seen it in the bookshops for quite a while and when I read that it finally had been turned into a film, I thought it was time to read it (thanks to Oxfam I could get it for 2£).

Here is the plot (taken from wikipedia):

Dexter and Emma spend the night together following their graduation from Edinburgh University in 1988. Though they do not become romantically involved, they become friends and in subsequent years, their lives take them in different directions, but they keep in contact. The novel visits their lives on July 15 in successive years in each chapter for 20 years.
Emma becomes a waitress in Kentish Town at a horrible Tex-Mex restaurant, while Dexter becomes a successful television presenter. Gradually, Emma fulfills her ambitions, first as a teacher and then as a bestselling novelist. Conversely, Dexter's career collapses, going from presenting a mainstream television show, to cable TV, to being fired from a late-night video games review show.
Each of the main characters have relationships with others, such as Emma with an unfunny stand-up comedian boyfriend Ian, and Dexter with a fellow TV presenter. By 2001, Emma has broken up with Ian, and Dexter has divorced wife Sylvie with whom he has had a daughter, Jasmine. The cause of the divorce is Sylvie's infidelity with Callum, one of Dexter's university friends. After the divorce Dexter goes to Paris to visit Emma, where she is writing her second book.
When they meet in Paris, they confront their relationship and whether becoming lovers is the right choice, after all the years they have been friends and with all the complications such a transition would make.

The structure is what makes this book so exciting to read. In each chapter the situation for Emma and Dexter was sort of new again as a whole year had passed. Sometimes I was hoping for them to finally come together, sometimes I thought it would be best if they would end their realtionship. Sometimes I thought Dexter was a complete asshole, sometimes I found Emma highly annoying. But always believable and always convincing.The language is beautiful (in my opinion) and there were more than one passage were I thought "I have to copy that, that is exactly how I feel!". Those are the magical moments when reading a book, aren´t they?
A truly marvellous novel with an upsetting end. But so worth reading and I promise you - even after finishing the book the characters will still haunt your mind every now and then.


  1. loved it so much... was my last year´s favourite :)

  2. I hated the end. I did not even think of it as sad, I just hated it. It ruined the book for me :(